the Ripple Effect of Healing
by Laurelle Shanti Gaia
When I was a child, I was fascinated by dominoes, those little black rectangular pieces of plastic with the dots on them. I will admit I was never really enthused by the actual game, but I loved to see them lined up, in curving, waving, undulating rows. They would stand so sturdily, and so straight, as if they could stand forever. Then all of a sudden, with even the tiniest tap, one by one, methodically they would all fall down.
I have come to realize that this is much like the healing process and the ripple effect it has on our life and those who are close to us. When one person is hurt, or ill, the other people in their life are affected as well.
The best way that I can explain what I mean, is by sharing a personal experience. I have shared this very selectively with clients and students over the years, when I felt it might help someone. However, not until this moment have I felt inspired to write about it. This is a story of healing from childhood sexual abuse, but it goes far beyond that, into developing an awareness of how our personal experiences have a ripple effect in all our relationships. It is also a story about how Reiki can bring understanding, love, and compassion back into a family.
My story starts when my father was a child. He had an older brother. My father is a very creative, and brilliant man, and has been quite successful in his life. My uncle was an average sort of fellow, many thought him to be a little odd. They grew up during the depression in the Midwest, and times were very hard for the family. As I look back on the events that I am about to share with you, I realize that my uncle had some very deep feelings of lack of self worth that eventually developed into intense jealousy of my father. My uncle never married or had an intimate partnership, or any children.
I am the eldest of three children, at age four I was sexually assaulted by my uncle. I was shamed and frightened into silence for many years. I was instructed to tell no one because "If you tell, no one will believe you and you will be punished for lying". "If you tell your father, he will never believe you, because you are just a little girl. I'm his brother and he will believe me." I kept this horrid secret for many, many years, and the abuse continued until one day, when I was 12, and my uncle tried to convince me to involve my little brother. I refused, and threatened to tell, and the abuse stopped . . .
I thought. I began to block my thoughts of it. I was so relieved it was over, and over the years the blocks grew deeper and deeper, until the memories just faded away.
THE DOMINOES BEGIN TO FALL
I grew up feeling like I couldn't talk with my parents about my fears, because I thought they wouldn't believe me. I often said to myself "Even if I do tell them the truth, they will never believe me". This thought pattern didn't just apply to the abuse situation, but to anything that arose, where I felt confused, or troubled, and needed parental advice. So, energetically I was hiding myself in a veil of mistrust. What happens when someone doesn't trust others? The energetic essence of mistrust permeates the environment, and the very psyche of the entire family, and often even extends out to others.
In my case my father felt this, and had difficulty trusting me. This caused a lot of friction between us, which led to much conflict and to experiences that do not belong in this article.
The bottom line is that I was unable to allow myself to engage in any positive, constructive communication with my parents, and I left home at age 17.
When I was 19, my parents divorced, and my mother then raised my younger brother and sister. A few years later my father moved to Argentina, and was essentially estranged from us for nearly 20 years.
Fast forward . . . I was in my late 30's, new to Reiki, and running a computer graphics business. I was married, and raising four children. I was a workaholic, momaholic, who was totally ignoring my own personal needs.
I gradually began to recognize that at times I would exhibit outbursts of anger, or fear, or uncontrollable crying, which seemed totally unfounded. I began to question this behavior. I simply didn't understand it, because it was different than what I had known my nature to be. I became very distressed by this, and so I decided to try using Reiki to help me understand. I simply began by invoking the distant healing symbol. I then stated questions, something like "Why am I behaving like this? Why do I get angry so easily? Why am I crying so much?", etc. When I had stated my questions I would then channel the Reiki energy into myself, and out into my energy field, and sit quietly.
I went about my normal routines, but from time to time I would find myself having unusual thoughts. For example, I remembered a rocking chair that I received from my uncle for my fourth birthday. I remembered four candles on a birthday cake, and other random thoughts related to my life at four years old. It took me awhile to catch on, and then suddenly the question popped into my head, "Why am I thinking of the events at four years old?" I had been so busy with life, that I had actually forgotten that I had been sending Reiki to my behavior issues.
I then had an "ah-HA" moment, and realized that perhaps this was leading me to my answers. So the next step was to send Reiki to myself when I was four years old. I found a picture of myself when I was about five, and I intended that it represented me at age four. I sent Reiki through the photo, using the distant symbol, to four year old me. It was like someone turned a key in a lock to a doorway of hidden memories. Glimpses of my experiences began to come back, and I knew what had happened. I knew that my unexplained behavior was rooted in the anger and fear I had repressed for all those years. I didn't have to re-live all the details. All I needed was a clue to help me understand.
After a few weeks of sending Reiki to my childhood, I suddenly became very, very angry with my uncle. He had passed away when I was in my late 20's. "How DARE he die before I can confront him!" was my thought at the time. I didn't know what else to do, so I began to send Reiki to my uncle in spirit. One night I had a very powerful experience in which I met my uncle, in that special healing place between waking and dreaming. Through the experience we had there, my anger was transformed into compassion in an instant, with the help of Reiki. Perhaps someday I will write about that. But, for now, let's watch more dominoes fall.
A few years later, my mother and my aunt were visiting me. Somehow mom and I had slipped into an emotional timewarp, where I was 15 and she was the mother of a teenager again. I was re-living one of the difficult moments I had with my father, and my mom kind of recoiled, and said "I don't want to talk about that". Suddenly the 40-something me, disguised as a 15 year old, exploded and stormed out the room, muttering under my breath..."That's what's wrong with this family, nobody ever wants to talk about what they NEED to say"! Well then the dam burst, and we talked, and talked about many of the things we should have talked about years before. The abuse was out in the open. I talked to my sister and my brother, and I wrote to my father. I learned of other abuses that my sister and brother remembered. My father and mother apologized for not recognizing what was happening. Gradually, with the help of lots of Reiki, the lines of communication have grown stronger.
You see, my uncle was like a domino, and we were all lined up behind him. When he fell, I fell, and one by one, as the lines of communication were destroyed, and the fears crept in, we all fell down.
But, that's not yet the end of the story. Fast forward one more time to one day in a nursing home in rural Kentucky. I was sitting beside my grandmother's bed. She had been in a coma for months as the result of a stroke. She had received only fluids via IV for a very long time, with no other nourishment to sustain her. The doctors, nurses and attendants could not understand how she was staying alive for so long. It was as if she had something unfinished she was hanging onto. I had been going to visit her every day for a long time and on each visit I would give her Reiki. There was something different about that particular day. I was channeling Reiki and praying that she find the peace she was seeking. Suddenly I realized that the Reiki energy was actually speaking through me in the form of a prayer. My grandmother was very religious, and Jesus was everything to her. The prayer that was flowing was thanking her for being such a wonderful person. She was being told that she did many good things for many people and that God loved her very much. She was also told that she was not responsible for anything that other people did that caused harm.
In that very instant I realized that my grandmother knew about my uncle and his illness. She knew about the abuse, and she was bound by her guilt from doing nothing about it. Reiki helped me actually feel her torment, and her pain. I felt her fear, and her love for her son, for me and for the other children. Any judgment I might have had for her not acting to prevent the abuse, dissolved into deep compassion and unconditional love.
Moments later, Reiki was flowing when this sweet woman, who had been comatose for months opened her eyes, and looked right into mine. She spoke clearly, and she asked "Who are all those people with the red candles?" Without thinking, the Reiki once again began to take the form of words and what it said was "Those are the angels who have come to take you back to Jesus". My grandmother sighed a peaceful sigh, she smiled, closed her eyes, and I saw the first wisp of life force leave her body. She completed her transition three days later.
Grandma was the last in that line of dominoes, but instead of falling in fear, she released her guilt, felt Divine love, became peace and left this world with grace.
I will be forever grateful for all that Reiki helps me heal in my personal life. I am thankful that Reiki encouraged me to write this article, because I know that someone reading it will come to understand that there is nothing that Reiki cannot heal, if we are only willing to accept our challenges as blessings, find the love in all of our experiences, and allow our healing to ripple out into the world.
In the Light of the Creator . . .
We See Only Love
Laurelle is Editor of "Reiki News", Director of the Teacher Licensing Program for the ICRT and author of "The Book On Karuna Reiki". Contact Laurelle by email Laurelle@ReikiClasses.com or visit her website at www.ReikiClasses.com